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Experiences of Long-Term Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment by Adolescents in Tembisa, Gauteng Province

Experiences of Long-Term Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment by Adolescents in Tembisa, Gauteng Province

The proposed study seeks to produce results that may enable the multi-disciplinary team at Masakhane Clinic, Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital, to design suitable interventions to address the specific problems of non-adherence. The study employs qualitative methodology as it best captures the experiences of adolescents and HAART as they personally experience the treatment. This is an exploratory design using phenomenological approach. This approach is based on the assumption that to understand humans, it is best to discover their meaning world and experiences which can be captured through the use of interviews. Furthermore, in-depth interviews will form an integral part of data collection. Such method is regarded by prominent researchers as the predominant mode of data collection.

The decision to study adolescents’ experiences of HAART was inspired by the changing nature of the global AIDS epidemic and the recognition that adolescents have distinct needs. In addition to dealing with standard developmental processes, HIV positive adolescents must also confront a number of extra challenges. For these young people, the transition from childhood to adulthood is interlaced with concerns about medication regimens, doctor’s appointments, life expectancy, disclosure, and transmitting HIV to others. Of course, the virus poses similar concerns for HIV positive individuals at other life stages. The extensive changes that characterise adolescence make the second decade of life particularly unique.

Thematic analysis approaches will be applied, which share the aim of identifying and describing the central ideas occurring in data. On-probability in the form of convenient and purposive sampling methods will be used to draw sample from the population of Tembisa hospital. The sample will include adolescents who have been on HAART for at least a period of two years. A balance in terms of gender will be preferred in order to analyze the role of gender on the narratives of being on HAART.

Speakers: Musa MaseTshaba